The Monster Walks (1932) Review: Maniac Monkeyshines

Synopsis: People in an old dark house on a stormy night are menaced by a killer ape.The Monster Walks (1932) Review Poster
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Calamity Brains:

The Monster Walks is pretty standard haunted house/killer on the loose fare. Aside from the fairly wtf inclusion of a live chimpanzee as part of the story, there’s not much to recommend this flick over other similar pieces from the time.

Though Mischa Auer and Martha Mattox pull off a decent amount of creepiness, in general the actors are nothing to write home about. Willie Best as driver Exodus is particularly bad, but it’s hard to blame him for not leaning into his role, which is stereotypically racist. (He’s meant to be dumb comic relief, which he consistently fails to sell – and the movie ends on a particularly cringe-worthy note that unfortunately probably encapsulates the entire reason his character exists.) Sheldon Lewis‘ tremor acting is about the only other noteworthy bit in the piece.

I’m a sucker for stormy nights in old houses full of secrets, but The Monster Walks was mostly just disappointing. The characters are all pretty useless and it’s hard to feel sympathetic to any of them as the story progresses. Add in the fact that there isn’t actually a monster (unless you’re including the poor maligned ape), and it’s a fairly disappointing piece.

For a better haunted house option, try House on Haunted Hill or The Corpse Vanishes. Heck, if you really want one with an ape, there are plenty of those, too. The Monster Walks has nothing new to say on the matter, and plenty of things to say that will rub modern audiences the wrong way. It’s okay to skip this one.

Calamity Brains’ Rating: C-
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Calamity Brains

The Codex Mortis Horror Hosts (Ludwig von Stroodle and Calamity Brains) are married and live in West Virginia. Pretty much everyone who sees their cabin agrees that it would be an ideal setting for a horror movie. Their pets include a black widow spider, a smart dog, and a stupid dog. When they aren’t watching horror movies, they can be found at whiskey festivals, Renaissance fairs, and board game nights.

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